More Gentleness, Please and Thank You | Tomorrow’s World

More Gentleness, Please and Thank You

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The spirit of the modern age, at least if you pay much attention to news and social media, is one of protests and bullhorns, aggression and brazen demands, where the loudest and most extreme often seem to get their way. God’s word teaches a far better way, however, and emphasizes a virtue that is not very popular in our current moment in history, but which would nevertheless greatly benefit everyone in society—gentleness.

Oxford Languages defines gentleness as “the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered.” How wonderful and pleasant would the physical, mental, and emotional benefits be in society if everyone increased in such qualities? May we place a large and advanced order of gentleness as American society heads into the United States 2024 presidential election?

The Bible describes gentleness as a fruit of God’s Holy Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). Baptized Christians who have received God’s Holy Spirit are expected to exhibit these wonderful qualities in their dealings with others.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, also wrote about gentleness: “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:16–17). Again, how wonderful would a bit more gentleness, a bit more willingness to yield, be in society, in the news, in politics, on social media, and on the busy streets and roadways?

Gentleness is a practical and beneficial trait in life. One of the most practical biblical instructions, and one that seems to always work immediately, is in Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” News media, social commentary, and social media (especially Twitter) seem to ignore this principle since arguments usually generate more traffic and clicks, which incentivizes loud, brazen, and extreme behavior. This is unfortunate because the few politicians who exhibit moderation, mild manners, and gentleness don’t get the publicity needed to succeed. It is interesting that many of the brashest congressional leaders today are women (on both sides of the political aisle), in contrast to the Bible’s instruction for ladies to be of a “gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4).

Gentleness is not just a good, polite quality of “nice” people. It is an aspect of Jesus Christ’s own character, as seen in Matthew 11:29, where Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus, the God of the Old Testament, also dealt with Israel very gently, as the prophet Hosea described: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son…. I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms…. I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them” (Hosea 11:1, 3–4).

These scriptures show how God was like a loving father to Israel, one who dealt with His young son with gentleness, leading, guiding, and sustaining him. In a similar way, God cares for His people today with love, mercy, and gentleness.

The popular way in society today is to demand instead of yield, to shout instead of speaking softly, to be aggressive instead of mild-mannered, and to act with brazenness and brashness instead of gentleness and kindness. Christians must resist these trends by striving to imitate Jesus Christ’s many wonderful character traits and by following the Apostle Paul’s instructions to Christians long ago: “Let your gentleness be known to all men” (Philippians 4:5).

If you’d like to read more about the fruits of a true Christian, please order our free booklet What is a True Christian?